The 4 Best Cheap Bushcraft Knives – Affordable Knife Reviews 2021

best cheap bushcraft knife, affordable bushcraft knives, favorite bushcraft knife

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Bushcraft is an art that is so much more than just learning how to survive out in the wilderness (which in fairness is a form of art on its own). Instead, bushcraft is about how you can live out in the wilderness but with very limited resources.

In true wilderness, there are no convenience stores and no one there to help you. Rather, you’re on your own and only have what you have on you. This means that you have to make do with both the very limited manmade tools you have and the vast natural resources at your disposal.

By way and large, the most important manmade bushcraft tool you can have with you in this case is a bushcraft knife. Your knife has to be up for a multitude of purposes from building shelters and traps to whittling sticks into fire starting strips to cleaning game and so on.

While you may believe that you’ll have to spend a lot of money to buy a knife capable of doing each of these things, the reality is that there multitudes of perfectly affordable models available that anyone can buy. Let’s take a look at four of the best cheap bushcraft knives on the market:

Szco Supplies Classic Patch Knife

This eight-inch stainless steel blade comes attached to a burl wood handle that is held to the tang with brass pins. The Szco Classic Patch Knife sells with a sheath (a must have if you’re planning on packing your knife out in the woods) and is based on the skinning knives that were originally used by trappers and mountain men in the Rocky Mountains. The grip is designed to give you enough length to grab securely so the knife won’t slip in your hands while skinning a kill. The stainless steel blade is a little thicker than some other knives in its same class, but this is good for durability and longevity.

Schrade SCHF36 Frontier Full Tang Drop Point Fixed Blade Knife

This is a full-tang knife (meaning the grip wraps around the bottom part of the blade) with a high carbon steel blade, a ring textured handle, a black nylon sheath with a loop to wrap around your belt, and even a sharpening stone. The blade (see full specs) itself is a quarter of an inch thick, which is a good width for a survival or bushcraft knife. The grip may be a little too aggressive for people, but it’s not going to be slipping in your hand anytime soon so that’s more important—one of the things that make this one of the best cheap bushcraft knives you can afford.

Schrade Schf 36 - Test

Gerber Moment

The Gerber knife brand is legendary in the law enforcement, military, and bushcraft knife world. They produce some excellent and affordable blades. The Gerber Moment is a simple knife that offers a full tang design for superior strength. This fixed drop point blade is only 3.63 inches long but is easy to control. Bigger isn’t always better. The blade makes short work of most camping tasks, and at the same time is small and fine enough for cleaning game of all sizes.

The Gerber Moment is balanced well and never feels overly heavy on one end or the other. The Moment has a great set of rubberized grips that allow you to avoid hot spots when working hard. The rear of the blade features a semi box spine that works well for striking ferrous rods and starting emergency fires. The full tang design allows you to baton wood without worrying about a broken knife. This knife is already outstanding, and the awesome price makes it more so. This is among our favorite bushcraft knives period.

Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife

Built right out of Sweden, the Morakniv series of knives in general is an excellent choice for an affordable bushcraft knife. This is the smallest knife out of the models on this list with a blade length of just four inches (and an overall length of eight and a half) and a blade thickness of only 0.08 inches. Nonetheless, the blade is still forged out of a high carbon steel, so it’s not going to break anytime soon and is perfectly adept for building traps and shelters or cleaning game. The high grip is made with a high friction and patterned design that makes it equally easy to handle as it is comfortable to hold on to.

Qualities That the Best Cheap Bushcraft Knives Must Have

Since a bushcraft knife is designed to be with you at all times while you’re living out in the woods, it’s important that you choose the best quality knife possible while also choosing one that you can afford. But just because a knife is cheap doesn’t mean it’s fragile and can’t handle a wide range of tasks. On the contrary, each of the knives that we have selected are very high quality while being built at affordable prices.

There two primary factors that you should look for in a bushcraft knife regardless of the price. The first quality is to look for a knife that has a full tang (like our first 3 recommended knives) or, in the very least, 3/4th tang (like the Morakniv). This means that the knife has a full or near-full blade where the grip wraps around the lower part of the blade. Sometimes the tang is completely covered, while other times it is expected on one or both sides of the knife. Some bushcraft knives only sell with the blade and the tang and require you to wrap paracord around the tang to make a grip, but we didn’t include any of these models because they are a lot less comfortable to hold and use.

The reason why you want a full tang is because it will always be stronger than a knife without a full tang. For splitting wood or prying things open, you definitely want a knife with a longer piece of metal so that it won’t bend or break apart from the grip easily.

Another important quality to look for in a bushcraft knife is blade thickness. This is critical if you want your knife to be robust. As a general rule of thumb, your blade should have a thickness of anywhere from 3/16” to ¼”. Any blade thinner than that will simply be too weak for the tasks that bushcraft requires, while anything thicker will not be precise enough for certain other tasks.

With these two considerations in mind, there’s no reason you can’t shell out not much dough and still get a perfectly decent knife, and with our selection of the four best cheap bushcraft knives, you’re sure to find one you’ll like. Good luck!

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